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Hacker cops to payment card fraud worth more than $36m

Faces 10 years and $500,000 in fines

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An American citizen has admitted to stealing data for more than 676,000 payment cards from databases he hacked into and netting more than $100,000 by selling them in underground bazaars online.

Rogelio Hackett, 26, of Lithonia, Georgia, pleaded guilty to one count of access device fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. He admitted a computer-hacking spree that started in the late 1990s and turned criminal in 2002, when he began carrying out SQL injection attacks on vulnerable websites that accepted credit cards to transact purchases. In 2007, he exploited the server of an unnamed online ticket seller and made off with data for some 360,000 cards, prosecutors said.

He sold the stolen data on websites and IRC channels frequented by fellow credit card fraudsters, charging $20 to $25 per account. According to court documents, he used his riches to buy luxury items, including a 2001 BMW X5 and a pair of Louis Vuitton shoes.

Hackett's undoing started in June 2009 when he sold 40 counterfeit cards for $1,180 to an undercover US Secret Service agent. A raid on his home uncovered the huge cache of stolen data, as well as equipment for making counterfeit cards. The stolen data was used to make more than $36 million worth of fraudulent transactions, prosecutors said.

Hackett faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and fines of at least $500,000. He also faces an additional mandatory two years in prison on the identity theft charge. ®

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